[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vivo (31)P Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) measures phosphorus-containing metabolites that play an essential role in many disease processes. An advantage over (1)H MRS is that total choline can be separated into phosphocholine and glycerophosphocholine which have opposite associations with tumour grade. We demonstrate (31)P MRS can provide robust metabolic information on an acceptable timescale to yield information of clinical importance.
All MRI examinations were carried out on a 3T whole body scanner with all (31)P MRS scans conducted using a dual-tuned (1)H/(31)P head coil. Once optimised on phantoms, the protocol was tested in six healthy volunteers (four male and two female, mean age: 25±2.7). (31)P MRS was then implemented on three children with optic pathway gliomas.
(31)P MRS on volunteers showed that a number of metabolite ratios varied significantly (p<0.05 ANOVA) across different structures of the brain, whereas PC/GPC did not. Standard imaging showed the optic pathway gliomas were enhancing on T1-weighted imaging after contrast injection and have high tCho on (1)H MRS, both of which are associated with high grade lesions. (31)P MRS showed the phosphocholine/glycerophosphocholine ratio to be low (<0.6) which suggests low grade tumours in keeping with their clinical behaviour and the histology of most biopsied optic pathway gliomas.
(31)P MRS can be implemented in the brain as part of a clinical protocol to provide robust measurement of important metabolites, in particular providing a greater understanding of cases where tCho is raised on (1)H MRS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Malignant brain tumors in children generally have a very poor prognosis when they relapse and improvements are required in their management. It can be difficult to accurately diagnose abnormalities detected during tumor surveillance, and new techniques are required to aid this process. This study investigates how metabolite profiles measured noninvasively by (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) at relapse reflect those at diagnosis and may be used in this monitoring process.Methods
Single-voxel MRS (1.5 T, point-resolved spectroscopy, echo time 30 ms, repetition time 1500 ms was performed on 19 children with grades II-IV brain tumors during routine MRI scans prior to treatment for a suspected brain tumor and at suspected first relapse. MRS was analyzed using TARQUIN software to provide metabolite concentrations. Paired Student's t-tests were performed between metabolite profiles at diagnosis and at first relapse.ResultsThere was no significant difference (P > .05) in the level of any metabolite, lipid, or macromolecule from tumors prior to treatment and at first relapse. This was true for the whole group (n = 19), those with a local relapse (n = 12), and those with a distant relapse (n = 7). Lipids at 1.3 ppm were close to significance when comparing the level at diagnosis with that at distant first relapse (P = .07, 6.5 vs 12.9). In 5 cases the MRS indicative of tumor preceded a formal diagnosis of relapse.Conclusions
Tumor metabolite profiles, measured by MRS, do not change greatly from diagnosis to first relapse, and this can aid the confirmation of the presence of tumor.